Enemas and suppositories can help with constipation and encopresis symptoms.
I know, I know. You're freaking out a bit even just reading the word "enema." But enemas and suppositories can be really helpful.
Here's what they are:
Enema: An enema is just water with a little salt in it. (Feel better already?) It is just salt water that you insert into the bum. You insert some salt water up into the intestine, then sit the child on the toilet and the salt water comes back out, along with a bunch of poop. Not too bad, right? You can buy disposable enemas at any drugstore or online. They are cheap and easy to find. You can also get high-volume reusable enemas. More about that later.
Suppository: A little capsule made of glycerin. You insert it in the bum and it irritates the intestine just a bit to encourage the poop to come out. Suppositories are not as effective as enemas, but they work great for some kids.
Here's why you may want to use enemas or suppositories to help your child overcome constipation and/or encopresis:
1) Enemas and suppositories are great to use as a last resort.
Now when I say "as a last resort," I mean this:
It is better to give your child an enema than to take them to the emergency room because of an intestinal blockage.
It is better to try using a suppository than to have your child poop in a public pool.
It is better to use an enema occasionally than having your child constantly embarrassed at school for pooping in her pants.
You get the point, right?
Some people believe that enemas are extremely invasive and can be psychologically damaging to the child. However, an enema is nothing more than salt water. It can be administered in the privacy of your home by a loving parent. It is not painful. In fact, the enema or suppository may give the child relief from intense abdominal pain. People have used enemas for centuries for natural colon cleansing.
2) Enemas an suppositories can help you child be successful. Using an enema or suppository allows your child to poop on the potty and feel successful. They can get used to the feeling of having a regular bowel movement on the potty. This is very important! If your child has had very few experiences with successful potty use, this is a great way to reprogram their body and their mind to associating the potty with pooping.
3) Enemas and suppositories and natural and inexpensive. You cannot say the same thing about many other treatments (I'm looking at you, Miralax!).
Here's when to administer an enema or suppository:
1) Use when you child is extremely backed-up. If your child's intestine is full of poop or if they are leaking poop out around a blockage (meaning poop crumbs or peanut butter-like smears in the underwear), it is probably a good idea to try an enema. Enemas are great to use at the same time as some Ex-lax in order to get a good "clean out."
2) Try a suppository first. Suppositories are less effective than enemas. Some people have great results with the suppositories alone. If you don't get a good poop with the suppository, then try an enema.
Have you given your child enemas or suppositories? How did it go?